, Bond for property in , Hancock Co., IL, to JS as trustee-in-trust for the , 22 Oct. 1842; handwriting of ; certified by ; canceled by , , and ; four pages; Wilford Wood Museum, Bountiful, UT. Includes seals, docket, notation, and archival marking. Transcription from microfilm made of the original by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1973.
Two leaves, dimensions unknown. The leaves appear to have been attached at one time, presumably as a bifolium. They were trifolded for filing and docketed by . At some point after 1846, the second leaf was apparently torn off and the paper surrounding the cancellation and docket was removed along the fold lines.
The bond was filed with the , Illinois, recorder and recorded in the bonds and mortgages record book the same day it was created. Presumably, the bond was later given to and filed with JS’s trustee-in-trust papers. After church trustees canceled it in 1846, the bond probably remained in Smith family possession and may have been among documents Charles E. Bidamon, ’s stepson, sold to Wilford Wood in 1937. The bond and the cancellation were physically separated between 1969 and 1972. The bond remained in the possession of the Wilford Wood Museum as late as fall 1973, when the collection was microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah (Salt Lake City).
Berrett, Wilford C. Wood Collection, iii, 97, 100; Wilford C. Wood Collection of Church Historical Materials, CHL.
Berrett, LaMar C. The Wilford C. Wood Collection: An Annotated Catalog of Documentary- Type Materials in the Wilford C. Wood Collection. Vol. 1. [Woods Cross, UT]: Wilford C. Wood Foundation, 1972.
Wilford C. Wood Collection of Church Historical Materials. Microfilm. CHL. MS 8617.
On 22 October 1842, , acting as JS’s , executed a land transaction with . At the time of this transaction, JS was at ’s home in Henderson County, Illinois, trying to avoid arrest and extradition to . In a letter to the read publicly on 4 September, JS noted that while he was in hiding he had “left my affairs with agents and clerks who will transact all business in a prompt and proper manner.” As one of JS’s closest scribes, Clayton assumed many of JS’s financial and clerical responsibilities, and he seems to have managed the entire 22 October transaction with Robison, explicitly identifying himself as JS’s agent and signing on JS’s behalf.
The land that arranged to purchase from consisted of 160 acres located about a mile southeast of in , Illinois, bordering JS’s . Robison specified in the bond he produced outlining the sale that the transaction was between himself and JS, who was acting as trustee-in-trust for the church. Robison bound himself to deed the land to JS if he made the scheduled payments. Robison’s bond contained more detail than was commonly included in similar land purchase agreements. For example, Robison amended the text of the bond to reflect minor details in the promissory notes, such as canceling Clayton’s first name and replacing it with the abbreviation of “Wm.” found on the notes. This change ensured that there could be no question about the legality of the bond or notes due to language. Additionally, Robison specified an interest rate of 10 percent per year rather than the 6 percent that was customary under law and usually went unstated in the text of promissory notes. The detailed language of the bond and the specified interest rate suggest that Robison was concerned about JS’s financial ability to fulfill the notes. Robison, recorder for Hancock County, had the bond recorded in the county bonds and mortgages record book on the same day that it was filled out and signed. The bond was then presumably given to Clayton and retained with the church’s trustee-in-trust papers.
In connection with the bond, signed two promissory notes on behalf of JS for $960 each, with payment due on or before 1 April 1843 and 1 September 1843, respectively. Like the bond that accompanied them, these notes contained unusually specific language and terms, specifying the date of maturity and fixing a high interest rate of 10 percent per year. wrote the notes on the same leaf of paper and presumably separated them after they were signed.
JS and subsequent trustees-in-trust for the church made sporadic payments on the first note between 1843 and 1845. On 4 August 1845, and —who were appointed church trustees after JS’s death in 1844—made an additional payment on the note, bringing the total paid to $1,055.14. This was 86 cents short of the principal amount contained in the note plus one year’s accrued interest, but the wording of ’s notation of this payment suggests that he considered the note fulfilled. That same day, Whitney and Miller made an initial payment of $785.78 on the second note. By June 1846, Robison calculated that the interest due on the second note was nearly $400, in addition to the $174.22 still due on the principal. By 14 August 1846, the subsequent trustees-in-trust for the church—, , and —decided to abandon the land purchase, releasing Robison from his bond in exchange for his surrendering the two notes. After returned the notes to the trustees, their clerk, , recorded that the second note had been canceled.
Clayton had extensive clerical experience. He was working as a factory bookkeeper when he joined the church in 1837, and after moving to Nauvoo, he regularly assisted Willard Richards in keeping the record of donations for the Nauvoo temple. When Richards left Nauvoo in summer 1842, JS assigned Clayton to assume Richards’s responsibilities. In September 1842, Clayton was also elected Nauvoo city treasurer. (Allen, No Toil nor Labor Fear, 7, 9, 36, 70–71; Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18, 30–31; see also JS, Journal, 29 June 1842; and Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 9 Sept. 1842, 101.)
Allen, James B. No Toil nor Labor Fear: The Story of William Clayton. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2002.
Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL. MS 3365.
Illinois law dictated that the general interest rate for all loans be 6 percent per year unless otherwise specified by the parties. The law also forbade rates above 12 percent. (An Act to Regulate the Interest of Money [2 Apr. 1833], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 343, sec. 1.)
The Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois: Containing All the Laws . . . Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835; and at Their Second Session, Commencing December 7, 1835, and Ending January 18, 1836; and Those Passed by the Tenth General Assembly, at Their Session Commencing December 5, 1836, and Ending March 6, 1837; and at Their Special Session, Commencing July 10, and Ending July 22, 1837. . . . Compiled by Jonathan Young Scammon. Chicago: Stephen F. Gale, 1839.
As part of their preparations to leave Illinoiss in 1846, Latter-day Saints elected Babbitt, Heywood, and Fullmer as trustees to replace Whitney and Miller, who planned to travel west with the main body of the Saints. (Young, Journal, 24 Jan. 1846; Hancock Co., IL, Bonds and Mortgages, 1840–1904, vol. 2, p. 144, microfilm 954,776, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)
Know All Men By these Presents That I of the County of and State of am held and firmly bound unto Joseph Smith as <sole> Trustee of <in trust for> the and his Successors in office or assigns in the Sum of Four thousand Dollars to the payment Whereof I bind myself my heirs executers and Administraters firmly by these presents— Sealed with my seal and dated the 22nd day of October AD 1842
The Condition of the above bond is Such that if the aforesaid Joseph Smith or assigns Shall well and truly pay up and discharge two several promissory notes for the Sum of Nine hundred and Sixty Dollars each— bearing even date herewith and payable to the Said as follows to wit
The first due on or before the first day of April 1843 and the Secend due on or before the first day of September 1843 both notes to draw interest at the Rate of ten per cent per Annum from Maturity until paid and Signed Joseph Smith by his . Then on the Receipt of Such payment I bind myself my heirs executors and Administraters to make execute and deliver unto the Said Joseph Smith as Sole trustee of <in> [p. ]